Why I also returned my BlackBerry PlayBook


After using the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet for about a month, I have also decided to return it. Not because it is a bad device, but because the applications I use aren't really polished and some don't use full screen. Also, because I'm not a BlackBerry phone user, I can't use the device in a work environment since I don't have email, calendar, and contacts apps.

The PlayBook is already a solid device and will only get better over time, especially when it is able to run Android apps, but right now it's just not for me.

Even though RIM has officially made the announcement that email, calendar, and contacts apps are coming, there is one big important feature for me that has not really been mentioned. That is, will the calendar and contacts app be able to sync with Google?

I have all my devices syncing so that whether I pick up my Galaxy Tab, iPad 2, or the Xoom, I can make changes on the road and always have up to date information I need daily for work.

For email I just use K-9 for Android and the email app on the iPad 2. I use Dropbox quite often to store photos or documents that I am working on; there is a app called BlueBox for the PlayBook but when I checked it out, I was only able to see the files and organize them in my Dropbox account.

I could use Google docs in the great browser that RIM developed, but I need more of an app like Documents to Go to edit and create Word and Excel documents for work. This works great on the Galaxy Tab.

BB PlayBook FeedList 2I installed FeedList on the PlayBook but when you view the feed, it really doesn't use the full screen. You would think that you can navigate and click on the feed and have it show full screen and be able to read it, but you can't.

Again, the app situation should improve in the coming months, as more users will demand a wider selection and developers will create better apps.

BB PlayBook PoyntAnother issue I had was with the GPS, which just wasn't working for me. As I am on the road up to 4 hours a day for my job, I like to use apps like Poynt, Where, and others that give me information that I need. The Poynt app on the PlayBook kept telling me I was in Calgary, Alberta (and I'm definitely not there!). And since GPS wasn't working well, a good mapping app to check traffic while on the road traveling from point A to B was out of reach, making the PlayBook less useful to me on the road. So I always had to carry either my iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab, depending on my destination.

Bluetooth was great on the PlayBook, but I wasn't able to use AD2P to broadcast music from the device. I was able to pair a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse without any problems and browse the web with it, though, so that was nice. And as awesome as the browser was, the one thing that I didn't like was that when you zoomed in past the normal fit, it would render the text like in Android.

Overall the PlayBook is well designed and has a nice feel to it. It is easy to carry as is, but I would have preferred for it be about half an inch smaller all around.

RIM needs to hurry and get some of the improvements released. The PlayBook is a great multi-tasking device with a lot of things going for it like a great bright and clear display, the ability to capture 1080p videos and play them over the mini HDMI very well, great sound due to the speakers being on the side of the bezel and facing you, and solid battery life (about 8-9 hours in my usage). But because of the apps and some of the other issues I mentioned, I just had to return it.

How is the BlackBerry PlayBook working out for you?

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Hector Gomez

Hector Gomez is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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